Explanation of Cost Estimates & Latest Snapshot

In March 2023, the AHS project underwent a Feasibility Study cost estimation exercise. Costs determined during the Feasibility Study stage are always preliminary, largely based on total gross floor area and time required to construct the different schemes, and escalated using industry standard multipliers to arrive at costs. 

Further information on the process used for AHS can be found under Feasibility Design Cost Estimates heading in this news post: Updates from the March 30th Building Committee Meeting

The Building Committee has used these feasibility study cost estimates for two main purposes:

1. To compare multiple feasibility study approaches to each other.

The information assisted the Committee in narrowing the final three design options to a single, preferred option.

For example, knowing a renovation was more expensive than construction of a new building was a helpful contributing factor to the final selection of the “Campus 2 plus new auditorium” site approach.

2. To have a rough idea of cost for potential additions or subtractions to the project scope.

The community and project team have identified several areas of high impact, where decisions need to be made to define the project scope. These items are summarized in the categories of either potential cost-saving measures or potential added-scope items and are described in more detail on the Design Items For Schematic Design page.

For example, consolidation and adjustment of space sizes has resulted in an approximate reduction of $17.35 million ($1.15 million for each 1,000 net square feet); upgrading the mechanical plant to heat pumps or geothermal could increase costs between roughly $17 million and $42 million prior to considering energy rebates.

A September 2023 snapshot summary of scope and cost (based on March 2023 estimates) can be found in this presentation. It describes total estimated cost of the project declining from roughly $484 million in March to roughly $452 million in September based on decisions made in public discussions by the Building Committee. It also summarizes items that are still under consideration which could impact the current snapshot.

The project is now in the Schematic Design phase, where the single preferred option is developed, and every aspect of the project is scrutinized and discussed with the benefit of feedback from stakeholders throughout the schools, town, and community.

Schematic Design will produce much more specific design documents as opposed to the preliminary Feasibility Study diagrams, including those which define structural, mechanical, electrical, fire protection systems; materials; floor plans; and a more developed site design.

With the project more firmly defined, the Schematic Design phase will conclude with another cost estimating exercise, this time meant to establish the total project budget for consideration of approval by Andover voters.